NANAIMO, B.C. – The Spartans came all the way back from a 5-0 second-period deficit to force overtime against Vancouver Island University, but in the extra session, the Mariners capitalized on a Trinity Western miscue to score the game-winner and earn a 6-5 victory Saturday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
After a scoreless first period, the Mariners exploded for five goals in the first 9:25 of the second period.
However, TWU came roaring back, tallying four goals in the last 10:09 of the middle frame. That set the stage for Kade Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.) to tie the game with just 45 seconds to play in the third period.
But the Mariners struck back forty-two seconds into overtime, with Garrett Dunlop scoring the game-winner.
A day after TWU (19-4-0-1) clinched first place in the BCIHL regular season standings, the contest with the Mariners was a playoff preview, as the teams are locked in to meet in the first round of the postseason.
Gage Colpron and Dunlop each scored twice for VIU, while Joshua Cook and Kobe Oishi added singles.
Allistair Duncan (Abbotsford, B.C.) got the start, allowing three goals on 10 shots, before Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) replaced him early in the second period. Mills finished with 12 saves on 15 shots.
VIU's Brett Clark made 33 saves in the win.
Dunlop sparked the Mariners scoring barrage at 1:17 of the second period and within a span of 8:08, the Mariners were up 5-0.
Twenty-six seconds after the Mariners fifth goal, Fontaine got TWU on the board and the Spartans replied with four goals in 6:18.
VIU was 1 for 4 on the power play while TWU was 0 for 3.
The setback was the Spartans first overtime loss of the season.
Head Coach Barret Kropf
"I don't remember a game stranger than this in a long time. We didn't take care of the puck all night. We turned it over and they capitalized. You spot a team five goals and it's pretty hard to come back and get two points. We're lucky to have gotten one. Now, we'll turn our focus and have a great week of practice as we prepare for our senior athlete appreciation night coming up and honour some great players in the week ahead. And then it'll be on to the playoffs. It's an exciting time for us."
The Spartans return home for their final game of the regular season, as they host Victoria Mar. 2 at the Langley Events Centre.